Friday, September 12, 2008

My ETP sucks, Really?

I am gonna unveil a little bit about my ETP. My project is Mini Auto Pumping Water Treatment Unit (WTU). Basically, it has 2 important parts: the filtering mechanism (water treatment) and a small water pump (suction). Let's just talk about water treatment part. Initially we thought to adopt Reverse Osmosis mechanism but it requires a membrane which is costly. Therefore, we came to a decision to use a very commercial product, LifeStraw Personal. It 's a very effective filtering straw for obtaining safe drinking water. It has saved millions of life in Africa and India where standard potable water is scarce. LifeStraw

LifeStraw (known as sucker as well). It is simple but it works.
Picture taken from its official website.

Procurement of LifeStraw was extremely horrible. It seriously was. It is not available in Malaysia. So, I had to communicate with a personnel from India via email. This consumed a lot of time. I eventually got 3 LifeStraw shipped from India at the end week 7. I need to make an acknowledgment for them. They are free of charge. Special thank to the Vestergaard Frandsen

The Lifestraw is in my hand.
Initially I thought we won't be able to get them, but we got them for free!

I was testing the sucker! I sucked pretty hard, didn't I?
Btw, the water I sucked is just drinkable!

So, all the while we thought we were doing the right thing for ETP as in meeting the course's requirements and expectations. We have 12 weeks and RM200 to complete a prototype. My supervisor told us to not think too big for it! Do something which is realizable.

Yesterday afternoon, we were consulting a professor from civil department, Prof. Dr Malay Chaudhuri about our results on water testing. Four tests were done: turbidity, pH, ecoli and bod. In fact, our results are OK (safe for drinking). BUT, he commented us that our project is NOT engineering relevance. Even some non-engineering people can do it. Despite my justification, he said that we should at least make something new. He suggested to us to make another lifeStraw using char coal or granular activated carbon. I was freaking shaken in the first place. It's end of week 8, a very critical period. I was freaking tension. My mind was haunted the whole afternoon. Worst of all, I had to write a paper at night later. I couldn't actually focus on my revision. At 5pm, we had a meeting with our sv. Well, actually he gave us the ideal of lifestraw. He asked us to proceed. Then only I relieved.

Yea, I do admit that our ETP is more like assembling the existing produts. But then think of it this way. Say we were to use Reverse Osmosis, which I think there are quite some groups doing it, the membrane is an commercial product also. The lifestraw is nothing but a device for water treatment in our system. In fact, it's way cheaper than membrane but compatibly effective. So, it very much makes sense in the perspective of engineering economic. In addition, we need to fix a compatible pump with suitable suction power. If you have no technical knowledge, how the HELL you're supposed to choose a right one! And FYI, our pump is a Taiwanese pump. We just got it this week. The procurement of materials really took us lots of time. So, our prototype fabrication will only start next week. Don't ever come to me again saying my project is out of ETP. Drill you lar! haha...

I spared my revision time to check our project and drilled the test a bit already.
Anyhow, I should be thankful to the Prof Malay for questioning our project. We will be more prepared for the presentation later.


B a F F a L o said...


Johnny Ong said...

if there's an invention that cld help many people, lifestraw is definitely the one at the moment. it cld be mass produced at this low cost compared to whatever water treatment

Chemhoster said...

Thanks Johnny. I was kinda fussed when receiving the critics from my professor, but then came to think of it carefully, I'm fine already! Hope everything works out smoothly.